Despite its hand-cut, standard paper format, this rejection received last week from Santa Monica Review for my story "The Disguise" is one of the best worded rejections I've seen. It may be a form-letter, but they are really trying not to make me feel bad. In case the picture resolutions is bad, here's the full text:
We don't know of anyone who hasn't had work returned at one time or another, but that certainly doesn't make it any easier. We hope you will find some consolation in the individuality of editorial tastes and in the assurance that, with persistence, good work will be recognized as such.
Thank you for trying us.
Ah, so nice, but what really says is that there's no accounting for taste, and if your story's good someone, somewhere will like it. Thanks.